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Poster: Scrim Date: Sep 24, 2007 12:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: On the Road Again

Hmmmm, interesting. I did a little more research, and there is some confusion about what the lyrics are supposed to be. Below is some contect I got from the following site http://www3.clearlight.com/~acsa/introjs.htm?/~acsa/songfile/ON1THERO.HTM


A song played by the Dead in 1966 (and before that in Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions), then dropped until it was reintroduced for a spell in the early 1980s, primarily in acoustic sets. It was sung by Garcia in the 60's and Weir in the 80's. These are the lyrics sung by Bob Weir:

Would not my fat girl tell you the reason why? (note 1)
Fat girls will even do things on the sly
Look for your dinner to be good and hot
She never even put a stew-bone in the pot

Chorus
She's on the road again, sure as you're born
Natural born eastman on the road again (note 2)
She's on the road again, sure as you're born

Friend comes by, says he's looking for his hat
Wants to know where's your husband's at
Say I don't know, he's on the way to the pen
Come on pretty momma let's get on the road again

[chorus]

I went to my house, my front door was locked
Went round to the window, found my window was locked
Jumped right back, I shook my head
Big old rounder in my folding bed
Shot through the window, broke the glass
Never seen that little rounder run so fast

[chorus]

Notes
(1) this line is difficult to decipher from the recordings. It's more clearly "fat girl" on the Dead Ahead video than on the Reckoning CD (and both were recorded during the same run of shows in 1980). This fits with what Garcia sang in 1966 - and seems to be a bowdlerisation of the Memphis Jug Band's version which has "black girl"
(2) there's often confusion about what's sung here: is it
"natural born easy, on the road again"
"natural born ease, been on the road again"
"natural born, he's been on the road again"
or even "natural born easement on the road again"
I believe it's either
"natural born easeman, on the road again" or
"natural born eastman, on the road again"
See the research by Gorgen Antonsson which explains the background to these phrases.


Jerry Garcia's version from the '60s is pretty similar:
Well I went to my fat girl, I'll tell you why
Fat girls even do things on the sly
Look for your soup to be good and hot
She never even put a soup-bone in the pot

Chorus
She's on the road again, sure as you're born
Natural born eastman on the road again
She's on the road again, sure as you're born

I went to my door, and my door was locked
I went to my window and my window was locked
Jumped right back, I shook my head
Great big rounder in my folding bed
Shot through the window, broke the glass
Never seen that little rounder run so fast

[chorus]

Well your friend comes to your house, in his Stetson hat
Wants to know where's your husband's at
Say I don't know, he's on the way to the pen
Come on pretty momma let's get on the road again

[chorus]

The Dead's version is based closely on that of the Memphis Jug Band, recorded in 1928 - with some changes for political correctness! This is what Will Shade sang:
Wouldn't that black woman tell you the reason why
Black woman even do things on the sly
You look for your supper to be good and hot
She never put a neck-bone in the pot

Chorus
She's on the road again, sure as you're born
Lord a natural easeman on the road again
She's on the road again, sure as you're born
Lord a natural easeman on the road again

I went to my window, my window was propped
I went to my door, my door was locked
I stepped right back, I shook my head
A big black nigger in my folding bed
I shot through the window, I broke the glass
I never seen a little nigger run so fast

[chorus]

Your friend comes to your house, [?indecipherable?] hat
Let your moma know know where your husband's at
Says I don't know he's on the way to the pen
Come on moma let's get on the road again

[chorus]

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Sep 24, 2007 12:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: On the Road Again

but what the heck would eastman or whatever mean? Those line don't make any sense

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Poster: Scrim Date: Sep 24, 2007 12:48pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: On the Road Again

A person born in the east?

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Poster: northstar dead Date: Sep 24, 2007 12:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: On the Road Again

Yeah, them shaddy eastman guys. Watch out for them.

Don't Eastman in...Don't Eastman in..I been all night long

This post was modified by northstar dead on 2007-09-24 19:54:10